Rafael Nadal holds minute of silence for Mallorca flood victims

Rafael Nadal held a minute’s silence at his academy on Thursday to pay respect to the 10 people who lost their lives and the three who remained missing following severe flash-flooding on his native Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca.

The 32-year-old sporting icon led the solemn act at his academy in his hometown of Manacor, which is just kilometers from the epicenter of the deadly flash flooding that engulfed the town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar and nearby villages late Tuesday.

During the tragedy, Rafa opened the doors of his training center to host families displaced by the adverse weather conditions and personally helped with the clean-up efforts the following day.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner was joined for the minute of silence by his uncle, former trainer and director of the academy, Toni Nadal, as well as the tennis player’s current coach Carlos Moyá, fellow Mallorcan tennis player Jaume Munar, academy employees and students.

Source: EFE


VIDEO: Rafael Nadal busy cleaning out the mud after flash floods hit Mallorca

Flash floods caused by torrential rains killed at least 10 people on the Spanish island of Mallorca and burst the banks of a river, washing away vehicles and engulfing a town in muddy water.

Not only Rafael Nadal opened up his tennis academy to help people displaced by the floods, but he also swapped his racquet for a broom to help with clearing away the water.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal retires hurt against Juan Martin del Potro at US Open

Rafael Nadal’s defence of his US Open title has come to an end this afternoon. The world No. 1 stopped play with Juan Martin del Potro leading 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, citing trouble with his right knee.

Rafa appeared to be having trouble with his right knee and even pointed to it while explaining to Del Potro his reason for retiring. He had it taped during the match and did not appear to be moving to the best of his abilities.

“I was just trying to see if something can improve during the match but no, it was not the day,” Rafa said after the match. “You can imagine it was very difficult for me to say goodbye before the match finished. But at some point, you have to take a position. And it was so difficult for me to keep playing at the same time that way — you know, having too much pain, and that was the tennis match at the end.”



PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal defeats Nikoloz Basilashvili to reach last eight of the US Open

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has progressed to the US Open quarter-finals with a four-set victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The world No. 1 got the better of his Georgian opponent 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 to reach the last eight of the tournament.

He improved to 8-2 in fourth-round matches in the US Open, rebounding from dropping the tiebreaker in the third set to break Niko’s serve twice in the fourth set.

After the match, Rafa said:

Two matches in a row. Very tough ones. I had a big chance at the beginning of the third. A lot of credit to him, he was playing great, hitting the ball very, very strong. Seems like I was not in control of the point even when I was hitting good shots, he was always able to come back with very strong shots, so it was a tough one.

Our champ will face ninth-seeded Dominic Thiem for a place in the semi-finals:

It’s going to be a tough one. He’s a great opponent. Hits the ball very strong, too. He’s playing great. To win against Kevin means he’s doing a lot of things very well. I need to play my best.

That will be a rematch of Rafa’s victory in the French Open final and will be their first meeting not on clay.

Source: AP

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal reaches US Open last 16 with victory over Karen Khachanov

Rafael Nadal has reached the last 16 of the US Open after coming through a tough match against 22-year-old Karen Khachanov 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(3) on Friday. There was little to seperate the two players during the match and Rafa was even bothered with his taped knee.

After the match Rafa said:

The roof is too high so I don’t think it affects [the match] a lot. A great opponent, I’m very happy to be through. I escaped some tough situations. Serving for the match at 5-4 I didn’t play a good game. There are things to work on but the good thing is I’m going to have the chance to improve it.

The world No. 1 will face Georgia’s world No. 37 Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Guido Pella, in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal powers into US Open third round

(Reuters) – Defending champion Rafa Nadal eased into the third round of the U.S. Open with a regulation 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over unseeded Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.

A fresh-looking Rafa, whose first round match was cut short after opponent David Ferrer retired with a calf injury midway through the second set, started brightly against the Canadian and never looked back.

Rafa wrapped up the opening set in 35 minutes after breaking early to go 3-0 up as Pospisil, ranked 88th in the world, struggled to settle into a serving rhythm.

The Canadian rallied briefly in the second set, improving his first serve percentage and managing to break Nadal to lead briefly, but the world number one broke back immediately and went on to win four games in a row to seize complete control.

“In the second set I had two games in a row where I had trouble with my serve,” Rafa said in a courtside interview. “The first one I saved, the second one I couldn’t. I was lucky to be able to break back. To win in straight sets is always positive.”

Rafa started the third set on the front foot, breaking early once again as Pospisil ran out of steam. He wrapped the contest in exactly two hours, and will next face Russian prospect Karen Khachanov, the 27th seed.

Playing his second night match in a row, Rafa looked a lot more comfortable in the muggy conditions than he did against Ferrer, who was down a set but up a break against his fellow Spaniard when he was forced to retire in the first round.

The weather has been one of the main talking points of the first week at Flushing Meadows, with high temperatures and humidity forcing organisers to impose “extreme heat” rules to give the players some relief. Rafa said he was looking forward to the end of the week, when rain is expected.

“We’ll be able to see better tennis than what we saw first couple of days of the U.S. Open,” added the 17 times Grand Slam champion. “Playing under these conditions is, first thing, not healthy, and second thing, is not good for nobody — not good for the fans, not good for the players. The show is a little bit worse under these conditions.”

Source: Reuters

US Open 2018: Sunday practice photos + video

Rafael Nadal hit the practice court with Jaume Munar on Sunday as he prepared for his first-round match at the US Open. Here are some photos.